Comparison of rep and poundage progression

4.108 It might be thought that one more rep, or one more pound on the bar, are similar increases in load on the body. In fact, these two progressive increases are very different. According to the Maurice and Rydin chart for upper-

body exercises, an increase of one rep corresponds to about a 3% decrease in resistance. If you are overhead pressing 180 pounds for 5 reps, to increase your rep count by a mere one, to 6, is comparable to adding 5.5 pounds while keeping the rep count at 5. ^is is a big increase if the i8o-pound 5-rep set is already very demanding. So adding very small increments, while using a constant rep count, is a better trick (mentally and physically) for progressing sufficiently gradually that gains can be steady and consistent.

4.109 Even when you cannot increase your rep count you can probably perform the same number of reps but with a very small increment on the bar. Do that several times and, using the above illustration, you will creep to the 5.5 pounds that is equivalent to a one-rep gain. And you can do this without perceiving any increase in training difficulty. ^en keep doing that, again and again. A lot of little increments add up to a substantial gain.^

Focus on achieving the next 5-10% gain in all your exercises, and a tad more on each of your muscular girths—these are your medium-term goals. If you apply yourself to this approach, and keep doing it repeatedly for a number of years, you will eventually get as big and strong as it is possible for you to become. Your immediate short-term target should be to take the next small step towards your next set of medium-term goals.

As much as is practically possible, gear every aspect of your life to create the conditions needed to add iron to each exercise every week or two, be that increment a pound or two, for example, or just a few ounces. Poundage progression in good form is what building muscle and might is primarily about, though some specific forms of training yield strength gains but little or no accompanying muscle growth. ^e possible differences between strength-focus and strength-and-size focus training methods will be explained later in this book. Never lose sight of the pivotal importance of progression. Organize your training program, workout frequency, nutrition, sleep and rest habits so that you make progression a reality.

B 18

To realize your potential, you need to become an achievement-orientated, goal-driven and success-attaining individual.

Achievement comes in small steps, but lots of them. Lots of little bits add up to huge achievement. Weight training exemplifies this bit-by-bit process. Strive to get each rep right, each set right, each workout right, each day's nutrition right, each night's sleep right, and then keep doing that, again and again and again and again♦♦♦

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